Thursday, October 23, 2014

Good Eats

I decided for both the benefit of recording some of these for myself and for sharing with others, I would post a few of our favorite recipes lately.  I have been trying lots of new things recently.  Some have worked out great, and some not so well.  But so far, no one is starving around here, so it's all okay.  This first one we made just last night, and everyone was happy with it.  I would recommend it as an appetizer or finger food for a get-together because it was difficult for me to figure out what to serve with it.  It's definitely a light meal item.  I served it as the main dish with some red beans and rice and a green veggie side.  A coleslaw would go well with this also.

Grilled Chipotle Shrimp
prep: 25 minutes
cook: 10 minutes
serves: 6-8

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1/4 cup adobo sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 lbs uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp grated lime peel
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp minced fresh mint

1.  In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar, chipotles, adobo, garlic, water, lime juice, oil, and salt to a boil.  Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer.  Remove from heat; cool completely.
2.   Transfer mixture to a large resealable plastic bag.  Add the shrimp; seal bag and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.  (I think I let it sit in the bag for maybe 30 minutes.)
3.  Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients; chill until serving.
4.  Drain and discard marinade.  Thread the shrimp onto metal or soaked wooden skewers.  Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.  (I used the broiler and just misted some cooking spray on the broil pan.)
5.  Grill shrimp, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 inches from heat for 6-8 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning once.  Serve with sauce.

And now for a picture break.

Last homecoming...for now.

This next recipe was a little more work, but definitely delicious.  It did not stick around for very long.

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 poblano peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
8-10 flour tortillas
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie worked well for us)
2-3 cups Monterrey jack cheese

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime

1.  First make the sauce by melting the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
2.  Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
3.  Stir in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps.
4.  Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor.  Add avocados, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse until smooth and well-blended.  Remove lid occasionally so that heat can escape.
5.  Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.
6.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, poblano, and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6 minutes until onions are translucent.
7.  Remove from heat.
8.  To assemble enchiladas, place tortilla on a flat surface.
9.  Spread a tablespoon or two of avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla.  Then layer some vegetable mixture, shredded chicken, and cheese.  Carefully roll the tortilla and place seam side down in a baking dish.
10.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
11.  Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce, then cover the dish with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden.
12.  Remove from the oven, then serve individual enchiladas drizzled with the remainder of the sauce.  You can also garnish with addition cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream.

Another picture break.

Bronson racing at sports day...he's the boy in the purple hat.
And this is an old favorite from my mother-in-law.  I have made this one a lot lately.  It's great for bringing a meal over for a family with a new baby because it is easy to reheat.  Be careful with salt additions.  I have had a few batches that were super salty.

Cheese Manicotti
8-15 manicotti shells
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
30 oz Italian tomato sauce (or regular with your own added herbs and spices)
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 grated Parmesan
1 egg
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1.  In a 13x9 inch baking dish, cover manicotti shells with boiling water.  Let stand for 5 minutes, drain, and rinse with cold water. 
2.  In a skillet, brown sausage, crumbling as it cooks.  Drain.  Stir in tomato sauce. 
3.  In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Stuff the shells with cheese mixture.
4.  Pour half of meat sauce in baking dish.  Place stuffed manicotti on sauce.  Dot any remaining cheese mixture on top.  Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until shells are tender.

And now I will finish with a bowling picture.

My bowling dates...really excited!